Siddikur off to a poor start
Bangladesh had pinned all its hopes on two of its flagbearers -- golfer Siddikur Rahman and swimmer Mahfizur Rahman. While the latter kept his words by improving on his previous best timing, the former disappointed with a sorry performance in the first round of his event.
Mahfizur had said ahead of the Olympics that his target would be to better his timing in his pet event of 50m freestyle in the Rio Olympics. On Thursday, the 23-year-old managed to do just that, clocking 23.92 seconds and slicing off 0.07 seconds from his previous best. That effort, though, was only good enough for a 55th place finish among 84 starters.
Swimming in lane seven, Mahfizur was quickest off the blocks in his heat, with a reaction time of 0.65 seconds, but eventually ended up fifth. Govorov Andril of Ukraine clocked the fastest time of the heat at 21.49 seconds.
Mahfizur was pleased with his performance. "I am quite satisfied with my performance. My target was to improve on my timing, and I've managed to do that. I think it was my best effort in the current context and a national record at that," Mahfizur told The Daily Star.
It was also a big improvement from the 24.64sec timing he had clocked at the London Olympics four years ago.
Away at the Olympic Golf Course, Bangladesh's premier golfer Siddikur let a decent start turn into a disastrous one after failing badly by the end of the day. The 31-year-old, who became the first athlete from the country to directly qualify for the Olympics, ended the first round tied for 56th position with a score of four-over-par (75).
The two-time Asian Tour winner was one-under for the front nine, but a disastrous back nine, where he fired five bogeys, undid the good work of the morning. Australia's Marcus Fraser took the clubhouse lead at eight-under (63).
Meanwhile, Bangladesh's two female athletes – sprinter Shirin Akter and swimmer Sonia Akter Tumpa – will compete at their respective events today. Shirin will compete in 100m sprint at the Rio Olympic Stadium at 10:00pm Bangladesh time while Sonia will compete in the 50m freestyle at the Olympic Centre Stadium an hour later.